Valke coach John Williams has made just two changes to the team that beat Griquas in Brakpan last weekend.
Hooker Frik Venter will not be risked after suffering mild concussion and his place is taken by Zane Killian who switches from loosehead prop to No 2. Gavin Whittingham gets a chance to start in the No 1 jersey.
The other change sees former SA Schools captain and flank Sean Plaatjies dropped for Bosman Grobler. “We will need extra height and for that reason I opted for Bosman ahead of Sean,” Williams explained to keo.co.za.
“I didn’t want to make too many changes and have kept faith with the guys that got us the win at the weekend. We know we have to take our play up another level especially in the scrumas and first phase play.”
Williams is worried at the lack of tries from his team in the openin three rounds and is expecting no favours from the wounded Lions. “They have a few Boks in their set-up and they will come right at some stage. I just hope it isn’t on Saturday.”
In previous years the Valke would have been considered cannon-fodder for the Lions, but in an ironic twist it is the Lions that need the victory more than their close neighbours.
The Lions languish at the bottom of the table with just one point, while the Valke have five points thanks mainly to their win over Griquas on Saturday.
Valke team to play the Lions:
15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Brendan April, 13. Sam Willard, 12. Hanno Coetzee, 11. Mpho Matsaung, 10. Louis Strydom, 9. Sarel Pretorius; 8. Michael Vermaak, 7. Bosman Grobler, 6. Piet Krause (c) 5. Nico Luus, 4. Ryan Strudwick, 3. Piet Grobler, 2. Zane Killian, Gavin Whittingham.
Replacements: 16. Herkie Jansen van Vuuren, 17. Philip Lemmer, 18. Dewald Senekal, 19. Dries van Schalkwyk, 20. Morne Adams, 21. Sean Plaatjies, 22. Dean Okkers.
By Andrew Hollely